How is trustworthiness built in friendships? Here’s how to underline your friendships with trust before they’re put to test.
Trusting in the guidance of the universe or God (via your intuition) will lead you to the right path in life, and choosing what you want will lead you in the other direction, the rocky road.
So when it comes to choosing a friend, search within yourself. If your body feels great, you know this friendship is right for you; but if your body feels tight, sick and uncomfortable, then you know you should move on. And you should go through this process on a regular basis during the nurturing stage and beyond.
This process took me a long time to develop and put into practice. It still is challenging to this day. To trust your senses to present you with an excellent outcome, even while going through tough circumstances, is not an easy thing to do.
A few years back, I had a couple of people, whom I thought were friends, who disappointed me in a big way. They were my friends as they had a good heart. We had great times together and we had a lot in common, except I noticed they were quite selfish when it came to supporting our other friends. As I had not asked for any support myself, I did not experience this personally. I constantly would be there whenever they needed me, and I helped them in many ways to make their journey in life a much smoother one without asking for anything in return.
After a few years, I decided to move and, as I had helped one friend move a year earlier, I naturally asked him first and he said yes. The day before I was to move, I called him to make sure that all was okay for the next day. He said he was unable to help me because he was tired. I explained I had no one else and needed his help, but to no avail.
In all the time I knew this person, I never had asked for a thing, and he really let me down when I needed him the most. I dusted myself off and relocated all on my own. Then I contacted my other friend, who graciously had offered to put me up for a few weeks until I was ready to move to my own place. He was away at the time, so he was unable to help me move my belongings to his place. It took me two days to complete this move and, as you can imagine, I was exhausted.
On the third day, this friend arrived back from his trip and saw my belongings in his four-car garage (he had allocated a place in the garage where I could store my things). He said he did not realize I had so many things to store, and that I would have to find another place to store my belongings; and he demanded that I do it that day. I explained that I only had a small portion in his garage; that I was exhausted; and that I only was using the section we agreed upon. When I asked why he was acting this way, no response was given.
This was a person who lived by himself in a large, four-bedroom house with a four-car garage. This was also a friend who I had helped many times and had asked for nothing in return. The moment I needed his help, he was not forthcoming. To say the least, I was shocked.
The next day, when I asked for his help to load up my van, he said I had to help him move all of his heavy plants to his girlfriend’s place before he would help me, and he insisted we do this in my van! He eventually helped me load the van with my things, but he did not help me unload them at the storage facility. Another two days of lifting, and again I was exhausted and glad I was finished. I had one week to go before I was scheduled to move, so I bit my tongue and stayed at his place. Unfortunately, things got delayed and my trip was postponed for another four weeks. Because I had nowhere else to go, I asked if I could stay another month and, you guessed it, he said no; I had to leave at the end of the week as planned.
Again, I could not believe it. I had done nothing to provoke this behavior. I was fortunate to discuss this with another friend and he offered to put me up until I had to go. Sometimes it’s the last person you think of who comes to your rescue. Needless to say, both of these friends could not understand why I never had much to do with them after these episodes. My point here is, do not think that people will treat you differently than other people. It’s only a matter of time before they treat you the same. You want to be certain you can count on them when it really matters.
A loyal friend rarely will let you down in times of crisis and will be there in good times and in bad. They are caring toward you and not seriously jealous of your attributes. You see yourselves as equals; not competing with each other but harmonizing together. You want to know that, no matter what, you can trust this person to stand beside you and want the best for you. If you make the time to seek out these things, you will save yourself many days of sadness.
If your friend or friends are not available for you in your hour of need, with no apparent reason, then it is time to move on. In my heart I knew that one day it would happen to me, but I guess I was hoping it would not. I learnt that without a plan of action, a hope to change was a change with no hope. I should have trusted my instincts and realized I could not depend on them. But I had given so much of myself to help them in their own life, I assumed they would reciprocate. Another lesson: never assume anything.
Friendship is a two-way street. If you find you are giving, giving and giving all of the time and not receiving anything in return, then you eventually will be let down, disappointed and hurt by their attitude toward your kindness. For you to endure a lasting friendship, you must feel as though you are getting something out of it.
I am not suggesting you keep count, but I am encouraging you to be aware of the way in which the people you call friends show some behavioral patterns that aren’t congruent with yours. Remember, they are a friend to you just as you are a friend to them.
An acquaintance of mine gave me some important advice some years ago and it has stuck with me all these years. It is not when things are going well for you that you will notice their true colors, but when things are going bad for you; this is when you will find your real friends. It’s something to think about.
Find trustworthiness in the little things. Have you heard the famous saying, “It’s the little things that count”? You know why that is a famous saying? Because when you care about someone, it rings so true. By doing the little things, you are showing and proving to the other person that you want that person to be a big part of your life. You need to trust the other person with the little things before you go trusting them with the big things. If you cannot trust a person to show up on time or remember to do something they promised to do, why should you trust them with something more important?
What this means is, you must keep your word as much as possible. If you say you are going to do such and such, then do it. People have a hard time trusting you and you should do the same. Constantly saying, “I am sorry, I forgot,” or, “Something has come up and I cannot make it,” or, “I am tired; can we make it another time?” and the ever-popular never being on time for anything, signifies you do not value your own time or, especially, your friend’s time.
All these little things can make the difference between your being trustworthy and your ability to trust your friends.
Another way to acquire trust is keeping up a person’s confidence. When a person tells you something in a relationship, it needs to stay in that relationship. If you gossip, then you are going to have a hard time building trust and being trusted when your actions show otherwise. Your actions and your words must be in congruence with each other.
Many people I know sincerely express in their own words, “You can trust me,” but it has been proven over and over again that you cannot. I since have come to realize it is not possible for them because they are chronic gossipers and don’t even realize they are gossiping. For that reason, I do not share any of my personal information with these people. It’s interesting to note how offended they become when they realize I have stopped sharing with them.
I have made it a common practice that, when anyone discusses anything with me and asks me not to repeat it, unless it is life-threatening or has the potential to do harm, I respect their wishes. I do not speak of it to anyone else and that means no one.
Trust is increased when you apologize after making a mistake. Nothing shatters trust faster than hurting the other person and then refusing to take responsibility. Be willing to say “I’m sorry” when you make a bad choice that hurts the other person.
Just as it can be a trusting quality, it also can be an mistrusting one if the “I’m sorry” phrase is used over and over again. You need to be aware it becomes a problem rather than a virtue when you repeat the behavior; therefore, don’t do it.